Summit County: Expect lines on Election Day

7:44 PM, Nov 5, 2012   |    comments
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AKRON -- Could the long lines and hour waits with this year's early voting be a sign of things to come?

In Summit County, the deputy director of the Board of Elections says she doesn't expect anyone to find a short line on Election Day.

On top of the interest in this election, there are fewer precincts and polling places in Summit County than there were in March.

Summit County Board of Elections website:

Budget problems forced the board to cut the number of precincts from 475 to 298.

In September, polling locations were reduced accordingly. Voters in Summit County will only turn out to 151 locations Tuesday, about 50 fewer than before.

Learn from those took care of business early.

"Pretty much the whole half the day you're here to vote," said Valerie Macaig, a first-time early voter.

"Long process. Three hours outside, probably about an hour inside," said Freeman Vickers.

Along with your identification, ready a warm coat and gloves.
"Dress warm and be prepared, because I believe they could have waits tomorrow," said Deputy Director Kim Zurz.

Some polling locations could serve up to 5000 registered voters, taking hours for you to cast your ballot.

Arriving early is better than late.

"We're doing the best we can with what we have," said Zurz. "There isn't going to be a short line. But it seems to me, the earlier wait, at least maybe you are only waiting an hour, or an hour and half versus perhaps the two- to three-hour wait or more."

With the fewer number of polling locations, several spots are serving multiple precincts.

Poll workers and greeters are there to help you find the right location.

If you think you're in the wrong spot, you're asked to call the Board of Elections in your county. In Summit County, that number is 330-643-5200.

About a fourth of registered voters in Summit County have already turned out through early voting at the Board office and mail-in ballots.

"It's going to be a big turnout this year. I think it really is. I think a lot of people think it's important to get out here," said Vickers.
"This is an important election. That's why I stood in line so long. Thank God it wasn't colder," said Macaig.

Provisional ballots, stray marks and other issues could keep the board busy for weeks to come.

"We know that we're in the middle of it all. We know that we're going to probably hear more about Ohio than anybody else tomorrow, so we're just trying to make sure we've done everything that we need to do," said Zurz.


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